Riverside Astronomical Society—Outreach, star parties, dark sky site, and you!

RAS Astronomy Outreach

Application & FAQ

If you are interested in having an RAS Outreach Volunteer come to your school/organization/event to host an evening star party or daytime solar viewing session, please fill out the form below. Please allow 1-3 days for a response from our Outreach Director.

Read our Outreach FAQ

If you'd prefer not to fill out the form, .

Fields marked with an asterisk are required.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost?
Nothing! The RAS Outreach program is free! This program is supported by grants and RAS volunteers. While certainly not required, we do accept monetary contributions. The RAS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.

What happens at an RAS outreach?
Generally, we give a short talk about the sky, the solar system, and what we'll see during the observing session. After that we go out and look through the telescopes! We'll show you how to focus the telescopes, provide pointers for observing through an eyepiece, and we'll give you information about what you're viewing.

What happens if the weather doesn't cooperate?
If the skies are cloudy or it's raining at the time of the scheduled outreach, we are more than happy to display our telescopes and give a brief talk. Of course, it is much more enjoyable to look through a telescope than to just look at it and/or talk about it. Therefore, we would prefer to reschedule the event if poor conditions are anticipated.

How does the RAS do this?
The RAS has received equipment grants that allow us to perform this service for the community. Since all presenters are RAS volunteers, we ask that you be flexible in scheduling your outreach event with us, especially for daytime solar observing sessions, as the volunteer(s) may need to adjust their work schedule to accommodate the event.

When is the best time to hold a star party?
Generally speaking, the best time for a public star party is 3 to 10 days after a new moon. This allows the moon to be viewed in the early evening. Then, after the moon sets, we can look at fainter objects that are better viewed without the glare of the moon (double stars, star clusters, etc.). Optimally, 6-8 days after the new moon is best. See a lunar calendar and learn more about moon phases by going here.